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Saudi-Led Coalition Thwarted Oil Tanker Attack

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen announced on Wednesday that it had staved off an attack on an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea, Saudi news agency SPA reported.

The attackers, spokesman Turki al-Malki allege, on Tuesday targeted an oil tanker sailing off Yemen’s Nishtun port with four boats—one of which was remotely controlled. According to the spokesman, the remote vessel was “trying to explode” the oil tanker.

The spokesman stopped short of naming the attackers or their country of origin or the name of the oil tanker that was targeted.

Yemen continues to be a rocked by fighting between the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia. On February 21, Houthi rebels launched a missile attack on Saudi Arabia, but the Saudis were able to intercept the missiles, according to Saudi Arabia. The Houthis claimed the attack, but offered a different version of events, claiming that it struck their objectives—which were “sensitive targets”—with “high precision”.

Tuesday’s events are just the latest development in a string of hostilities between the two opposing groups, with no end in sight.

The Houthi rebels took responsibility for the September 14 attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil infrastructure that cost some 5.7 million bpd in lost oil production capacity last year. Both Riyadh and Washington blamed the attacks on Iran, which continues to deny any involvement. UN investigators last month determined that the Houthis did not, in fact, carry out the Saudi attack.  

The Yemeni war, which began in 2015, has led to the worst humanitarian crisis in the world at the moment, and there is no end in sight, with the fight between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition recently intensifying around the key port city of Hodeida.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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